Gatekeepers

Yesterday saw the first Gatekeepers of the year in the garden.  A walk through Denny Wood to Frohawk Ride produced large numbers of Silver-washed Fritillary, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper and Large Skipper with a few Red Admiral, Brimstone and Green-veined White.  Goldcrests were one of the few species of bird singing and a solitary singing Chiffchaff seemed to be mixing up his “chiffs” with his “chaffs”.

Painted Lady

Rescued a Painted Lady butterfly from the conservatory this morning, that’s the third in the garden so far this year.  Looks like it could become a bumper year for the species.

Emperor Dragonfly

On the same day that the blue-tailed damselfly was laying eggs underwater, we had our first visit from an emperor dragonfly.  A female was laying eggs on the water lilies and water hawthorn at the edge of the pond.

Underwater damselfly

Yesterday, I was surprised to see a female damselfly in my pond under the water laying eggs on the stem of water plant.  Currently, I have three species of damsel regularly visiting the pond: large red, azure and blue-tailed.  Like most UK damsels, large red and azure lay their eggs while in tandem, as evidenced by the myriad of azure in tandem around the pond.  But checking my edition of Smallshire and Swash, I find the in blue-tailed the female lays eggs alone.  It does not say, however, that she may to this underwater. Hence, I presume this is a female blue-tailed damselfly, but it is hard to tell from the quality of the images.